Meet the People's House Project
Where the National Democratic Party has let us down, this organization will lift us up
Following the major losses in 2016 many Democrats sought to reevaluate the reasons why they lost. Some felt it was because Democrats were not liberal enough, others argued that they ran candidates that were too liberal. Solutions and opinions varied, but many failed to address the fact that Trump won many blue-collar voters who helped fuel President Barack Obama’s two consecutive victories. So to fill this void, the People’s House Project was formed.
The People’s House Project was started in 2017 by MSNBC commentator and former Congressional Candidate Krystal Ball. Their goal was to recruit and provide support for a different type of Democratic candidate. To do this, they went to areas of the country like Appalachia and the Midwest, places where Democrats were once strong but have now lost the working class vote, and began encouraging candidates to talk about bread and butter economic issues. In addition to financial support, they have been providing help with message development, media training, and are working to connect these candidates with the larger national donor network.
For some in these Middle American communities, the Democratic Party has become the party of coastal elites. Trump and the Republicans successfully attacked many candidates in these communities as being financed by the coastal elites like Nancy Pelosi, Planned Parenthood, and George Soros. The People’s House Project hopes to alleviate some of that negative attention.
While the program is not meant to be a direct competitor to the national Democratic campaign committees, they are focusing on races that might not draw the attention of national Democrats.
Some of the candidates that have been endorsed include:
- Randy Bryce, a union ironworker who is running for Congress against Paul Ryan in Wisconsin.
- Kate Browning, a union bus driver and former County Legislator in Suffolk County, New York. She is running in a Democratic Primary to challenge Republican Lee Zeldin, who she drove to school when he was a child.
- Richard Ojeda, a West Virginia State Senator and Army veteran who recently played a major role in sparking, supporting and eventually ending the West Virginia teachers strike. He is running for the open 3rd Congressional District.
- Mike Crossey (PA-18) – Special education teacher and President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA).
Many of these districts are ones in which Democrats routinely used to win, but the national party no longer targets. In 2012, Zeldin’s district was the closest election in the country, but in 2016 he won with 58% of the vote. While the national Democrats usually recruit conservative, pro-business, candidates, the ones that they have endorsed are progressive that are running on issues like supporting labor unions. Many are talking straight, throwing away the DC talking points to talk about the realities of their district.
Take Rich Ojeda from West Virginia. His Facebook page is full of Facebook Live videos where he talks directly to his voters, explaining things like the importance of taking care of veterans, lighting his questionnaire from the National Right to Work Foundation on fire, and railing on Frontier Communications as he walked the picket line with striking CWA members.